What are signs & symptoms of Aspergers?

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adetokunbo76
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22 Apr 2013, 11:39 am

Forgive me if this topic has been broached before. I'm new here.

What are the signs and symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. I believe that my boyfriend has AS.

He doesn't catch social clues, like at all.

He doesn't show empathy or affection well. Lots of buried emotions.

He's totally obsessed with Titanic/Cunard. I'd say at an above average level.

He doesn't really have friends his own age, he's 23. Most of his friends are adults.

He says he has always felt socially out of place, like the odd man out. Never fit in. He has odd quirky behavior and was teased/bullied in school.

He has to be told to do a lot of commonsense things that he should be able to pick up easily. Instead it's almost like he has to be led.

Example: One of his chores is to take out the trash. He does all his chores on Saturday. If the trash is full and brimming over on Wednesday he will leave it. Citing that he does all his chores on Saturday. He does a lot of absolute thinking.

Example: Last week were were going to the movies to see a 10:30 show. He came in from class at 9:50. When he entered I asked him if he was ready. He said yes. He went into the den. Almost 20 minutes went by, I go into the den and there he is casually surfing Facebook. I'm like WTH. He's like I'm waiting on you. But he didn't tell me he was waiting on me, he just went in the room. And in his mind, I should have just known that he was waiting on me. We barely got to the theater in time before the movie started.

He's also very orderly and shuts down when things are done out of order.

Example: It once took him 5 hours to make 3 cheese macaroni. The first few hours was just prep time. In the past when we've tried to cook together, if I deviate from the recipe at all he shuts down and is unable to complete his task. Because he can't comprehend how to continue because the order of operations is now messed up.

He also is very logical almost to a fault and again doesn't seem to be able to reason well.

He likes routines and doesn't like things changed on him or to be surprised. He prefers to be told things well in advance so that he's aware.

And there are so many other examples I could bring up as examples.

I also think that there might be some other co-morbidity issues as well. Like OCD, he's very OCD. Rituals, super organization, perfectionist.

Help!



iliketrees
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22 Apr 2013, 11:48 am

He definitely shows a lot of the typical signs. Have you spoken to him about it at all? I think that's something you should do, but I'd wait on advice from other members since I am only 15. He does sound like an aspie to me in any case. Sorry I'm not very helpful :oops:



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22 Apr 2013, 11:57 am

Yep sounds like me (I'm not formally diagnosed but am a textbook case). It sounds like you are describing me at 23 even up to the severe OCD, which I don't even need to get diagnosed it's so obvious (for example, my shoelaces HAVE to be exactly the same or I cannot function). I can't suggest much except to say if he's like me you have to spell things out in detail until he catches on. I got chewed out because I missed a major social cue yesterday and didn't understand until it was explained in detail although overall I am much better than I was a few years ago.



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22 Apr 2013, 12:24 pm

It sounds possible that he has AS, but professionals know for sure. :)


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22 Apr 2013, 12:30 pm

This sounds familiar to me. He should at least read something about it himself if he didn't yet, do one of those online tests and if he has the feeling that he is reading stuff about himself and that it fits him, he might want to visit a professional. Only a professional can tell for sure after all (or not - mistakes can happen).


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Callista
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22 Apr 2013, 12:44 pm

Yeah, have a talk with him. It's usually a relief to know that your "eccentric" behavior is not unique to you, but shared by a good many other people. Whether he pursues an evaluation is up to him. If he doesn't have any significant impairment, he won't be given a diagnosis as it is; even then, some of us who've muddled through since childhood don't really need that much treatment and thus don't really need a diagnosis. It's his choice, when it comes down to it, whether he wants an eval or whether he'd rather just research it on his own and possibly conclude that he has AS traits, but doesn't need help for them.

Advice for you: Don't try to change him. Relationships never work when you do that. If you don't love his AS characteristics just like you love any other part of him, then it's not gonna make either of you happy. Better approach: Learn to communicate with him, and teach him about how you communicate. Example: Explaining that you have to be told when he is waiting for you, because you don't know that this is what he's doing. Both of you use words to communicate fairly well, so that's probably the best medium. If he writes more efficiently than he talks, you could also leave notes to each other or e-mail, text, etc.


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22 Apr 2013, 12:57 pm

He does sound a hell of a lot like me. I am still going through the diagnostic process but am as certain as I can be that I have an AS neurology - It just comes down to the physiologist's opinion regarding how impaired I am by it.

When I made the discovery it was a shock but, all in all, a positive thing for my relationship with my wife since we now understand each other a little better. I hope the same happens between you two.


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adetokunbo76
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22 Apr 2013, 1:53 pm

After much debate he's more open to talking about it and seeing a professional for diagnosis. He doesn't really have any acute symptoms. He's fully functioning. He drives, works goes to school has a 3.8 GPA.

But symptoms of his possible aspergers traits are negatively affecting our relationship. The biggest probably being communication, he just doesn't communicate with me. I've asked him many times to talk with me casually but he doesn't. His lack of communication VERY OFTEN leads to knock down drag out confrontations.

He holds everything in, doesn't express his feelings then explodes. Communication is huge in a relationship, but one of his/our biggest issues. I've tried to tell him about social cues, he blows me off and doesn't believe me. Nobody ever talks to him and tells him how they feel about him. They talk to me. I tell him and he takes it out on me.

We're really floundering at the moment, it will be 5 years in May. It's been a real hard climb at times, we've struggled. We're still struggling. I feel that I do a lot to keep us together, where as he kinda just lays back. He tells me that he does think of me. But I don't see it. And just like the example about the movie I'm figuring that he's just expecting me to be psychic and see how he thinks he assisting in the relationship. However his physical actions show me nothing.

I had to argue him down one more than one occasion because I would come in from work at 8am. He was up early going to class shortly thereafter and he didn't want to talk to me at all. It was like he was ignoring me. He was on Facebook and eating at the time. And he said my talking to him. Just saying hello and wanting to give him a kiss would distract him from what he was doing. That hurt, a lot. So in his mind its just better to not talk at all mornings that he goes to school.

He can be ice cold, show absolutely no emotions or empathy. Finally he relented after much arguing to brief morning greetings of hello or a kiss that's it. But it didn't seem genuine and solely out of duress. He didn't understand what the big deal was and why I was so upset over it. Why it mattered to me, he was simply content to not talk in the morning, like I was invisible. And his actions and his words said that I should just deal with it already.

That happens a lot. I try to talk to him and express my feelings. But he's very dismissive of my feelings. Says I talk too much. Then starts the blame game. And says stuff like: "Oh I'm sorry that I'm not perfect. Or sorry that he's not the perfect boyfriend. I'm sorry that he make mistakes, and isn't perfect." Eventually I argue him down and he just does what I ask to stop all the fighting and not because he cares about my feelings or saw my point or is genuine. Talking to him a lot of times is like talking to a wall.

I love him, dearly. I want to stay together but he needs to be taught some serious coping skills. I need skills to be able better interact and be more knowledgeable about his disorder. But he doesn't even want to consider the possibility that he might have AS. He thinks that my suggestion that he might have AS is mean spirited or slander. He finally agreed to see a professional only after duress and me telling him I would leave him. I said that not as a threat but because, I was serious. I would. He often exhaust me physically and emotionally, I'm always super frustrated. And tired of feeling that I'm alone in our relationship, that I do all the work to keep us together and he simply sits back and reaps all the rewards.

Anyway this was longer than I expected so I'll stop here.



redrobin62
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22 Apr 2013, 3:06 pm

I feel your pain. I was in a "relationship" years ago that lasted for a year and a half. I guess I was the bastard, though.
I was the one with the serious social issues who tried desperately to avoid her family.
I was the one who said the wrong things at her family's house but had no idea what it was.
I was the one who preferred to play Scrabble instead of cuddling.
I guess I was the reason why we also never had sex in all that time.
And I was the one who didn't have a problem with saying nothing for days which drove her crazy.

The strange thing is, I want to apologize for my behavior but can't. I mean, I can, but it'd be fake. I'd be apologizing for being me. I can't not be me. This is who I am. Destined to be alone the rest of my days.



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22 Apr 2013, 4:24 pm

adetokunbo76 wrote:
Forgive me if this topic has been broached before. I'm new here.

What are the signs and symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. I believe that my boyfriend has AS.

He doesn't catch social clues, like at all.

He doesn't show empathy or affection well. Lots of buried emotions.

He's totally obsessed with Titanic/Cunard. I'd say at an above average level.

He doesn't really have friends his own age, he's 23. Most of his friends are adults.

He says he has always felt socially out of place, like the odd man out. Never fit in. He has odd quirky behavior and was teased/bullied in school.

He has to be told to do a lot of commonsense things that he should be able to pick up easily. Instead it's almost like he has to be led.

Example: One of his chores is to take out the trash. He does all his chores on Saturday. If the trash is full and brimming over on Wednesday he will leave it. Citing that he does all his chores on Saturday. He does a lot of absolute thinking.

Example: Last week were were going to the movies to see a 10:30 show. He came in from class at 9:50. When he entered I asked him if he was ready. He said yes. He went into the den. Almost 20 minutes went by, I go into the den and there he is casually surfing Facebook. I'm like WTH. He's like I'm waiting on you. But he didn't tell me he was waiting on me, he just went in the room. And in his mind, I should have just known that he was waiting on me. We barely got to the theater in time before the movie started.

He's also very orderly and shuts down when things are done out of order.

Example: It once took him 5 hours to make 3 cheese macaroni. The first few hours was just prep time. In the past when we've tried to cook together, if I deviate from the recipe at all he shuts down and is unable to complete his task. Because he can't comprehend how to continue because the order of operations is now messed up.

He also is very logical almost to a fault and again doesn't seem to be able to reason well.

He likes routines and doesn't like things changed on him or to be surprised. He prefers to be told things well in advance so that he's aware.

And there are so many other examples I could bring up as examples.

I also think that there might be some other co-morbidity issues as well. Like OCD, he's very OCD. Rituals, super organization, perfectionist.

Help!


Sounds like he has all of the classic symptoms of Aspergers anyhow. But it sound like he may be a little on the severe side, not as severe as I am because my obsessions are so extreme that they interfere with my life and I'm incredibly antisocial which I love. I hate to socialize, but feel quite comfortable on the computer. I have many of the same issues that goes to extreme and often. Sounds like you will just have to be patient since he is 23. Because of his age he is probably very set in his ways and I questioned if therapy would ever help him.



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22 Apr 2013, 4:28 pm

I've read that a lot people diagnosed with ASD tend to deny it right off (being confronted with a label such as "mental illness", that would be understandable). The hard thing is that while NT people have a hard time telling what an ASD person is feeling/thinking, it is also the same the other way around. This is a coping device I found in one of my books that helps myself and my wife in communicating whenever we hit a bump:

-First draw four columns.

-In the first column write a specific example of what bothers you, e.g. "He doesn't take out the trash can when it is full".

-In the second column list how you feel, e.g. "He just lets the trash pile up and it is really annoying!".

-In the third column try to list another instance of how he thinks that might apply to this situation, e.g. "He didn't take out the trash because he only does chores on Saturday".

-In the fourth column, explain how you would like to handle the situation e.g. "I would like the trash to be taken out as soon as it is full, the rest of the chores can wait till Saturday".

Both of you can use this type of worksheet and then share these worksheets with each other to try to get a better understanding of one another. I also find this much easier to do by writing it out at my leisure vs having to converse about it immediately where I may not be as eloquent (or be as afraid of hurt feelings on my wife's part when I don't mean exactly what I say or say it too bluntly).


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22 Apr 2013, 5:40 pm

He sounds a definite Aspie to me.

Would he be open to a kind suggestion, and then possible help if he needs it (sounds like it may benefit him a little bit).

You are a good, caring girlfriend. It's nice to see actually. We Aspies need our allies, believe me!!


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adetokunbo76
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22 Apr 2013, 7:45 pm

xMistrox wrote:
The hard thing is that while NT people have a hard time telling what an ASD person is feeling/thinking, it is also the same the other way around.


What does NT mean?



adetokunbo76
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22 Apr 2013, 7:47 pm

Cuckooflower wrote:
He sounds a definite Aspie to me.

Would he be open to a kind suggestion, and then possible help if he needs it (sounds like it may benefit him a little bit).

You are a good, caring girlfriend. It's nice to see actually. We Aspies need our allies, believe me!!


Boyfriend, actually. Lol!



adetokunbo76
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22 Apr 2013, 7:52 pm

Thanks everyone who's posted, thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions. It really means a lot. It's good to get answers and connect with individuals that are knowledgeable on the subject and can lend a helpful suggestion. I look forward to asking many more questions and being an active part of this community.